This diagram shows the orbits of Jupiter's irregular satellites as they are known at the end of the year 2000. The 11 new satellites, including S/2000 J1, are shown in green to distinguish them from the previously known satellites (white). The orbits plotted in the figure will be refined by measurements to be taken in the months and years ahead.

The 10 million kilometer scale bar corresponds to about 70 times the diameter of Jupiter. Jupiter (shown as an inset) has radius 71,400 km.

Although the orbits look very dense in the figure, the space they traverse is huge and collisions are rare. For comparison, the distance between the earth and the moon is 380,000 km, slightly smaller than the radius of the orbit of Jupiter's satellite Io (the innermost yellow circle in the Figure).

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Page by David Jewitt Last Edition December 16 2000